Sainte Dévote Day
According to legend, in the 17th century a bandit got hold of the Saint’s relics, which are reputed to be miraculous. Fishermen caught the runaway at sea and burned his boat as an atoning sacrifice. This incident is marked each year, the evening before the day on which the saint arrived, by the burning of a boat at the port of Monaco. This tradition only began to be observed in the 1860s, but since then has been celebrated with bonfires.
It is said that the nails of the boat, which can be collected in the ashes, bring happiness. As a result, it is not uncommon, at the end of the commemoration ceremony, to see children jostling to find the precious nails.
Sainte Dévote: the spread of Christianity